Love Notions Bash and a couple new Forte’s to celebrate!

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Love Notions is celebrating!  Hop over to the blog for tons of pattern hacks all week and a chance at so many fun prizes!

To celebrate Love Notions is having it’s best sale of the year- 50% off ALL PATTERNS through October 27th.  You can grab patterns for you, your teens and tweens, little girls, boys, almost everyone in the family is covered.  I’d thought I’d share some of my favorites with you in case you needed a little help decided which one to grab!

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It’s no secret that I love my Love Notions Patterns.  I am an Ambassador but my journey began as a tester.  I had tested for multiple designers when I started testing for Tami.  I couldn’t believe how thorough and attentive she is.  She really listens to testers and makes adjustment after adjustment to get the fit just right for everyone.  I love that our voices are heard and that she is willing to do multiple revisions based off our feedback.  I especially love that she sews right along with us, usually ending up with dozens of prototypes by the time the pattern is released.  She uses trimless pages which make printing out and piecing together new patterns a breeze- so quick!  I was thrilled that her patterns fit a huge range of sizes- her women’s patterns start at XS and go to XXXL and most of her children’s patterns start at 2T and go up to a 16.  This was huge for my kids as I have teens and tweens that are super hard to find patterns for.  I always go off my measurements (you might find you are a smaller size than you’re used to) and have great fitting garments.  Safe to say after a few pattern tests I was hooked.

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I became an affiliate AFTER I realized I was constantly referring fellow sewists to her patterns.  I knew I could confidently recommend each one and figured I could make a little change on the side to pay for fabric for the next pattern test.  This post contains affiliate links meaning that by purchasing through them I earn a small kickback (which no doubt goes to my fabric stash).   As an Ambassador I am happy to answer any questions you may have and I will continue to spread the word about all things Love Notions!

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In honor of the bash I’m sharing two new Fortes.  I was on vacation during most of the testing of this pattern.  I whipped up a version C as I was packing and wore it multiple times during our trip.  Stripes and a sleeve flounce were all I needed to feel chic while sight seeing! I couldn’t wait to get home and make more.

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I came home and quickly made a couple more version C’s- one tee and one dress hack.  I also made a version B for my mom and love how quickly these come together (and the fact that there are soooo many options!).  This tee is a double brushed poly and is left unhemmed.  I love, love it styled with my Canyon Cardigan.

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I’d been dreaming of a simple dress using this view and it was such an easy hack.  I measured how long I wanted it and just extended the side seams straight down.  I originally thought I’d need more width through the hips and knees and had done an a-line extension.  The extra width was more frumpy than cute so I took it off and love the final result.

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I also raised the neckline on this one an inch and a half.  I prefer almost a crewneck look and Tami is a scoop neckline kinda gal.  She’s gotten me to branch out and I usually love the results but will alter the neckline now and then.

Are you ready for some more of our favorites? The Miss Mary Mack is one that I reach for over and over when I want to pair a couple different fabrics.  It’s such a sweet little girls top that can be worn year-round.

The Li’l Laundry Day Tee is also a huge hit.  A knit dress full of options that works for both school and church is something that get worn a ton!  With all the neckline and sleeve choices my girls can totally customize their dresses exactly how they want them.

For my boys the Moto Maxx set is essential.  Every fall I sew up a new batch for my youngest.  They are perfect for running and playing and the extra layer at the knee gives them a much longer life than his normal sweatpants.

Fun boy patterns are hard to find so you might like the Vanguard Kit as well.  Both these boy patterns come with top and bottom patterns and for $6 that’s quite the steal.  The colorblocking on the Vanguard tee takes all the guess work out of doing it yourself and those cargo pants are perfect for all his treasures.

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Now for ladies, I’ll give you my top five must haves (ok- counting the Forte it’s six but they’re on sale so I’m really ‘saving’ you money, right?!).  The Bluezette is just a winner guys.  There are two bodice styles, five skirt options and three sleeve lengths which means you could make a dozen and have a different dress each time.  This dress has gotten so much wear because it flatters and in this double brushed poly I honestly never want to take it off.

These four tops were made from the same versatile pattern- the Terra Tunic.  The Terra is full of options- hood, funnel, scoop, v-neck, asymmetrical, and boat-neck necklines and multiple sleeve choices too.  It’s a great basic pattern that lends itself to easy hacking.  The leopard print sweater is simply cropped a few inches and you can find my hack for the peplum top here on the Love Notions Blog.

The Boyfriend Cardigan is definitely my most worn piece in my wardrobe.  That charcoal grey french terry version in the middle there gets worn almost daily.  I just leave it out and if there’s the slightest chill in the air I grab that baby.  It’s comfortable and I feel like it’s a step up from my ratty hoodie.  There is also a girls version and I think my daughter is developing a very similar relationship to hers!

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I’ve got extra love for this pattern since it was the first pattern I ever tested for Love Notions.  Look how much my little girly has grown!

My next go-to pattern is the La Bella Donna Top and Tunic.  This is another pattern that comes in girls sizing too.  It’s a versatile dolman sleeve top that is full of options (are you sensing a theme here?  LN patterns are usually loaded with tons of options in each pattern, something I always look for!).  There are cowl, hoodie and boat neck options along with multiple sleeve lengths.  For my striped version I widened my cowl for a cute chunky look.  I love this pattern for everyday tees too and after comparing MANY dolman patterns this one remains the winner.

Last but not least is the Sybil Illusion Skirt.  This is the ULTIMATE knit skirt pattern.  Really, buy this one and you won’t ever need another skirt pattern ever!  There’s a box pleat, a-line, pencil, swing, drop yoke, asymmetrical wrap, and gored options and all come in knee or midi lengths.  There’s an optional control top waistband panel and best thing- no closures!  Wait, the real best thing is actually POCKETS!  I can’t live without them!  These skirts come together so easily and are perfect for dressing up or down.

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K, are you ready to do some shopping?  If you want more in-depth reviews of any Love Notions patterns you can use the search function on my blog to bring up all my past LN makes or click the Love Notions tag at the end of this post.  There are so many other patterns to choose from you really can’t go wrong with any of them.  Happy Shopping!

 

Sewing for Kindergarten Blog Tour

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Man, oh man!  The day I have been waiting for FOREVER has finally come.  My youngest baby started kindergarten!  My emotions are all over the place but one huge positive thing is I get to join in the Sewing for Kindergarten Blog Tour.  I’ve been following this tour since the beginning and it’s super exciting to be joining in this year.

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I think we all are a little torn seeing our youngest head off into the big world without us.  It’s hard knowing that this is where it all starts.  With one in high school I know all to well how quickly it goes by.  There were definitely tears shed on his first day.  Such a bittersweet moment in time.

This photoshoot reminded me what a fun age this is.  In some pictures he’s channeling his inner teenager (like the one above, hello!).  In others he’s giggling like a little boy, carefree and innocent.  I love watching him navigate the world of friends, rules, responsibilities, and life.  I’m taking it all in- trying to freeze as many of these moments as possible.

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It just about kills me that this little guy isn’t by my side 24/7- now it’s just 22/7, haha!  I was dreaming of lazy afternoons watching tv, eating chocolate, and sewing like crazy.   Who knew that two hours would fly by in a matter of seconds?!

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This kid is all about comfort, I think every kid is at this age.  I did a mix and match look with five coordinating pieces, all knit for extra softness.  Here we paired a Jolly Roger Raglan  from Patterns for Pirates with a sweet pair of Mini Hudson Pants from True Bias.  Both of these patterns are staples and I think I can make them with my eyes closed at this point.  They’re just classic pieces that can be paired with so much.

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The raglan features a darling cut file from Thread and Grain.  This kiddo is Future Class President material for sure!  I used a fat quarter from Spoonflower for the sleeves- he picked the print himself and has been so excited for his new tee.

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The Hudson pants are done in a subtle houndstooth that I had set aside for myself- luckily there’s enough left for me too!  I love this print and the hipster vibe it brings.

Here they’re paired with a Fighter Tee from Handmade Boy and an Aztec Vest from See Kate Sew.  (And yes, he is blowing spit bubbles.  I told you he’s still all boy!)

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The Fighter Tee is such a fun spin on a loose fit t-shirt with panels that run from the sleeve down the side.  I used the perfect boy print- a limited Halloween print from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  I know the spiderwebs will be a hit year-round!

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The Aztec Vest is such a quick, cute layering piece.  I sewed this one up in french terry from Raspberry Creek.  I had this zipper in my stash and I had to giggle when he saw it and exclaimed, “A golden zipper?!! Yesss!”  It doesn’t take much to make him happy!  I simplified the construction even more by omitting the pockets making this such a fast sew.

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His final piece is the Moto Maxx pants (affl. link) from Love Notions.  I can’t say enough good things about this pattern.  They’re comfy and cute and the extra layer at the knee not only adds to the cool factor it also makes them extra durable.  So perfect for busy little boys!

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I’m loving all the prints in these looks.  I tend to stick with stripes and solids with my boys, mainly because cute boy prints are so hard to find.  These prints though are right up my alley- not too childish and so easy to mix into the rest of his wardrobe.

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Thanks for stopping by my little stop on the tour.  Make sure you head to these other amazing bloggers- I can’t believe we all have kiddos starting kindergarten this year!  What a fun milestone to share!

 

 

 

Fall Sewing with Raspberry Creek Fabrics

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My sewing time this summer was pretty much non-existent.  I love having my kids home all summer and tried really hard to focus on just being with them as much as possible.  The crazy busy-ness of school and sports and dance and singing has already started and I’m longing to get those lazy days back!  The end of our summer break coincided with the release of Raspberry Creek Fabrics newest CLUB fabrics line.  I snuck in a couple of sewing days to sew strike offs and counted it as our ‘back to school shopping’- new school clothes for kids + sewing time for mom= win, win, win!

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Today’s post will just be a photo explosion of my love for all the new CLUB prints.  All fabric is from Raspberry Creek (including coordinates) and should be around until the new year.  I love that I was able to find something that each member of the family fell in love with.  This guy right here is super picky and let me tell you that this tee is worn at least once a week- cool enough for high school, wahoo!

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Patterns used: Hey June Camden Raglan and Chalk and Notch Waterfall Raglan (minus the ruffle)

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Patterns used: Hey June Morrison Tee, Sew Straight and Gather Andromeda Top

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Patterns: Hey June Camden extended to dress length, Hey June Halifax Hoodie

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Patterns: Hey June Camden (are you sensing a theme here?), Hey June Lane Raglan, and Love Notions Maggie Peplum (affl. link)

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Patterns:  Patterns For Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan, Made For Mermaids Mama Ava (modified neckline)

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Patterns:  Made For Mermaids Rowan Raglan, Liesl + Co Men’s Metro T-shirt

If you can’t tell we all absolutely love our new duds.  I’m always so impressed with the quality and feel of RCF fabrics.  These things get worn and worn and quickly become favorites because of how soft they feel and how cute they look!

Elofex Thread Blog Tour

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If you’re anything like me you’re always on the hunt for products that make will make your sewing experience better.  When Coats approached me about trying out their newest product, Eloflex Thread, I was totally intrigued.  I jumped at the opportunity and I can’t wait to share this revolutionary thread with you guys!  Read to the end for two chances to win your own stash of this amazing product.

Eloflex Thread is designed to be used when sewing stretch fabrics.  It has just the right amount of stretch making it super easy to sew those pesky knits and stretch wovens with ease.  I honestly struggled a bit with how I would actually use this thread.  I am constantly sewing knits for my kids and myself but do 90% of it on my serger.  This new thread is meant to be used in your regular sewing machine which is a huge plus for those that don’t have a serger/overlock machine.  Now, for those of us that are attached at the hip with our sergers how does this new thread help?

Well, I’ve had my thread for almost a month now and I’m constantly reaching for it!  I’m so glad I had the time to really work it into my sewing routine so I can give you an honest, real life review.  I’ve used it on dozens of garments and had the chance to see how it wears and stretches in many different applications.  As I sewed my kids back to school requests it came in handy for topstitching knit pockets onto tees and finishing knit neckbands.  The fact that it stretches means you can use your standard lengthened straight stitch for beautiful topstitching that retains the garments stretch!  Game changer right there!  I’ve almost always skipped the topstitching around necklines because I wasn’t a huge fan of the zig-zag finish my regular machine does.  With this thread in both the bobbin and top, my stitch length lengthened just a touch, my neckbands have never looked better.  This cute pair of undies was done by serging the elastic on then topstitching it down with Eloflex and a zig-zag stitch.  So easy and I know it’ll last wash after wash.

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I don’t have a Coverstitch machine and this thread is making it less and less a priority for me.  I played around with my double needle and this thread and think I have the perfect combination to keep me happy for a long time.  I have a Brother sewing machine and I use Eloflex in my bobbin with a stretch double needle and regular thread up top.  I did try using all Eloflex and with my machine it was actually too much stretch, resulting in a bit more tunneling than normal.  Even on this drapey poly rayon, my hems look great!

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When thinking about what project I wanted to make to really highlight this thread I knew this gorgeous quilted knit would be perfect.  Because of the quilting I wanted to use single stitch topstitching throughout the garment and this thread was just what I needed.  With this thread in the top and bobbin I was able to use my regular straight stitch to hem the sleeves and bottom, sew the pleats, and topstitch the pockets and neckband for such a nice finish.

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It has honestly changed my sewing habits.  I will continue to use this thread for all my finishing needs on my stretch garments.  I’m so wishing I had had this for all the swimsuits I sewed this summer and can’t wait to use it for next years.  I know I will keep coming up with different uses for it too- workout gear, undergarments, socks/tights, Halloween costumes… I think the list will grow and grow!

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Have I converted you yet?  Are you ready to win your own pack to get you started?  Just follow me on Instagram and leave a comment for me here once you have to be entered to win this fun rainbow pack of 10 colors that will get you hooked just like me.  I’ll close comments and draw a winner next Thursday, September 7th. *Giveaway is now closed and winner has been notified.  If you weren’t the lucky one head on over to your local Joann’s or Hobby Lobby to try it for yourself!!

 

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Head to the Coats blog and enter here to win the grand prize too- it’s easy, I promise!

This thread was provided to me by Coats & Clark.  The opinions stated here are my own.

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Fabric in this post from Raspberry Creek Fabric  (except yellow plaid that was gifted to me by my cute sister 😉

Patterns used:  Men’s Metro Tee from Liesl and Co., Mama Ava Tee from Made for Mermaids, Unders (free pattern) from Winter Wear Designs, and Joy Dress from Made for Mermaids

 

 

Cricut Sewing Blog Tour

This is a sponsored paid post courtesy of Cricut.  All thoughts and projects are my own!

I’ve got a new addiction folks!  Me and My Cricut Explore Air 2 are now joined at the hip.  I’m excited to share what we’ve made so far and a simple-but-oh-so-useful tutorial that just may change your life (ok, maybe not truly but it certainly will make laundry day a bit easier).

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I’m lucky enough to be joining the Cricut Sewing Blogger Tour.   Cricut generously set us up with EVERYTHING we’d need to create to our hearts content.  Our package included the Cricut Explore Air 2, the Essential Tool Kit, a mat multi-pack, and the most gorgeous assortment of heat transfer vinyl ever!

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You only get a quickie cell phone shot because I didn’t waste any time before digging in to all this good stuff.  My kids and I spent the evening perusing all the designs available on Cricut Design Space.  We had a stack of tees from good ‘ol Target just waiting to be spiffed up. The hardest part was narrowing down our choices- with over 60,000 images at our fingertips, you can imagine that the possibilities seemed endless.  It was so fun finding images to match their personalities and current obsessions (just look at all these cute flamingo images!).  My son was also able to easily create a graphic tee featuring his newfound favorite tv show, The Office.

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Let’s just say we sufficiently broke in our new machine and got comfortable with how easy it is!

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I had a little ah-ha moment a couple weeks ago.  How fantastic would it be to make vinyl size tags for all our handmades?!! My kids just might not put their tees on backwards anymore and Dad will be able to tell front from back too!  Our handmades are starting to be passed down to cousins and it would sure be nice for them to have a size inside.

After playing around just a bit, I knew this would be an easy, fun solution and save my sanity while sorting laundry and outgrown clothes too!  I’ve got an easy tutorial on how to make your own and all my tips I’ve learned in the process.

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Setting up your cut file is a breeze.  I found it easiest to type each number and letter in it’s own text box, placing at least one space between each character.  So all my S’s are in one text box, etc.  Try to pick a thicker font since we will be cutting these fairly small, you can always ‘BOLD’ a font to thicken it up.  I like them between 3/4″ and 1″ tall.  I spaced each line at least 1/4″ apart also.  Once you’ve got each line how you’d like it, select all and attach the lines together.  This will keep your spacing as is when you go to cut.  You can also easily duplicate your lines and groups this way too.

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For my file, I cut my kids current sizes, my current size, and my girls initials.  My girls wear the same size in many things and can be super picky about sharing all their things.  This helps me so much at laundry time when I’m sorting their clean clothes.  I put their initials on their ready-to-wear things too- think underwear, pj’s, you name it!

I cut each line with my portable trimmer then roughly cut out each character.  You’ll want to leave each piece fairly big- this will make it easier to stick it on your garment later.

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I found a plastic jewelry organizer that works perfectly for sorting and storing all my tags.  It’s clear and easy to see exactly what I’m looking for.

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I love how easy it is to apply these.  I always do one last good press when I finish a sewing project and that’s the perfect time to take the 20 seconds to apply the tag.  I love that they melt right into the fabric leaving it soft and smooth.  Hooray for no itchy woven tags!

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I have a few patterns that I use in multiple sizes depending on fabric and the fit I’m after.  I can never remember which size I used for each garment though and this will be a huge help later on when I go to remake a pattern.

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I think my favorite tag I did was this little hidden ‘Rock Star’ tag in my first ever denim project.  I feel like this was such a huge, fun accomplishment and wanted to celebrate that in my own little way.  I think it’ll be fun to do this in future projects- a little personalized tag for special makes.  Maybe that special first day of school outfit, Halloween costumes, Holiday dresses- it’s just a cute way to commemorate and remember why and when each piece was made.

There are so many amazing sewing bloggers joining in this fun tour.  I have been blown away by their creativity and my list of projects has grown with each post I read.  You won’t want to miss a single one!  Make sure you enter to win your very own Cricut Explore Air 2.  It’s been so fun having one of my own and I can’t wait for you to get one too!

Enter to Win a Cricut Explore Air 2 HERE

Week One: July 19th

Week Two: July 26th

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Thanks for joining us and thank you Cricut for making our lives easier, more colorful, and definitely more fun!

I was invited to participate in the Cricut Party Blogger Program Kickoff.

This experience is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I have given my honest opinion.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Fighter Tee by Handmade Boy Blog Tour

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Kelly at Handmade Boy is one of the busiest gals I know.  She’s also one of the kindest ladies in the sewing world so it didn’t surprise me one bit that her first venture into pattern making would be for charity.

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100% of the proceeds from the sale of the Fighter Tee go to benefit the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  You can pick up your copy for only $5 and know that not only did you get a fantastic pattern but you did your good deed for the day!

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Tami from Love Notions teamed up with Kelly on this project and drafted this pattern so you know it’s superb!  It’s a loose fitting tee with color blocking on the sides and sleeves.  It makes it perfect for pattern mixing and upcycling!  It comes in sizes 2-12 and is a great unisex pattern.

This little guy absolutely loves this pattern.  I made the palm tee a few weeks ago during the pattern testing and he has worn it any chance he gets.  These will definitely be favorites this summer!

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This palm tree fabric was an old Girl Charlee purchase that we tie dyed last summer.  I love the summer vibe it has and this pattern was perfect for it.  The black side panels tone it down a bit and totally up the cool factor.

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The fabrics for this version came from Raspberry Creek Fabric.  I used the Shark Fin Wave paired with a solid navy.  Charlie has had his eye on these shark fins since he saw the strike offs and has been begging for his very own shark tee.  Of course, he had to wear his shark tooth necklace with it!

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I’m excited to be joining so many friends in spreading the news about this amazing pattern.  Make sure you check out their cute versions for even more fun inspiration.

 Monday: The Wholesome Mama, My Creative Room, Wild & Wanderful

Tuesday: Doodle Number 5, A Jennuine Life, Sew Sophie Lynn

Don’t forget to head over and get your pattern.  You can’t beat supporting a great cause and getting a darn cute pattern in return!

 

Suit Up For Summer Day Four

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We’ve made it to day 4- woot woot!  Have you learned anything so far?  Picked up a pattern or two?

Today I’m talking about the best part of swimsuit sewing- FABRIC!!  If you’re anything like me, you can never have enough fabric.

We have multiple fabric sponsors on the tour and I’m excited to get you guys shopping.  The Fabric Fairy has a HUGE selection of both spandex and board short fabric as well as everything you need to complete your suit- elastic, bra cups, linings, etc.

Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop offers great custom printed fabrics and coordinates.  You can pick up your PAB pattern and sew it up in PAB fabric- oh cool is that?!

Simply By Ti has some great choices for swim cover-ups- think cozy french terry and bright crochet fabrics.

Boo! Designs is based in Australia and has an unbelievable selection!  Like I want to order a dozen prints right now!

Sash Fabrics is another custom fabric shop full of unique and fun designs!

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My family is all decked out in another of our sponsors latest designs- Raspberry Creek Fabrics!  I love that these fabrics coordinate so well together without us being too matchy-matchy.  When looking through the new line it was so easy to pair up each print to my kids personalities!

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The Sunset Palms were meant to be this kid’s.  He lives in subtle Hawaiian prints and this was just too perfect for him!  You can read more details about his suit in yesterday’s post.

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I’ve been dying to share this suit!! This sweet, sophisticated girl is rocking the Tropical Leaves swim print in a Lil Luxe Leotard Etoile.  I think this is the perfect pattern/fabric pairing!

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The simple silhouette really lets this print shine!

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I need one of these suits for myself ASAP!

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My little man NEEDED these sharks the minute he saw them.  I love the colors in this print and how easily they coordinate to so many others!  You can find his suit in yesterday’s post too!

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This sassy girl loves the bright colors of the Sea Floor print.  Paired with the Nautical Stripe it’s too cute for words!

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She’s wearing a Marilyn Vintage Suit from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  This suit offers plenty of coverage and so many cute options.  This simple view was fun to showcase these prints.

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She certainly loves it!

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I got another suit too!  This time I used the Nautical Stripe for myself.  I used the Edgy Top from George and Ginger.  It’s not designed as a swim top but with a few modifications it worked great!

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I lined the front and added cups and an elastic shelf bra.  I cut my pattern a size smaller and finished the neckline and arm with elastic cut barely smaller than the openings.  I like to serge my elastic on in the round to the wrong side of my fabric then flip it under and topstitch with a twin needle.  Super easy!

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I used the bottoms from the First Crush Suit from Rad Patterns.  The suit offers so many options and great coverage!

I love these stripes and the chance they gave me to play with the directions.  This swim knit is some of the nicest I’ve ever sewn with.  It’s nice and thick and has great 4-way stretch making it super easy for me to use it on the diagonal.  The matte finish gives it a very high-end feel.

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I also used coordinating Navy Board Short Fabric to make me a pair of Swim and Surf Shorts from Gracious Threads.  I love the fit of these and after making my little guys these were such a quick sew.  I love the extra coverage for chasing kiddos around!

Phew!  So…many…swimsuits!  Are you sick of me yet?!! Just one more day…

I’ve got to give a huge thank you to our good friends for letting us borrow their gorgeous backyard for these pics!  It was absolutely perfect!

Make sure to enter the giveaways for your chance to win some of these amazing fabrics from our sponsors with a ton of patterns too!

Head over to the other bloggers to see what they’ve been making too:

Hosted by Sew Sophie Lynn & Paisley Roots

Monday: Pear Berry Lane / Inspinration / It’s Liesel / Sewing For Four

Tuesday: Harper Lu / Call Ajaire / Stylin Stacy / Skirt Fixation

Wednesday: Sewing By Ti / Sewing With Sarah / Sew & Tell / Me Made

Thursday: Made By Melli / Life Sew Savory / That’s What She Crafted / Auschick

Friday: Rebel & Malice / EYMM / Stitching & Making / Lilliepawillie